Living in Knoxville and covering the Country music scene certainly has its challenges. With over a quarter million watts of local radio devoted to Country format, it is my job  to be in the know and report about the rapidly evolving Country music scene.

To stay ahead of the curve the first website I visit every morning is   With a cutting edge staff led by their publisher/owner Sherod Robertson, the website and magazine gives the ultimate insight into the upper echelon of the Nashville music scene.

On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, MusicRow Magazine held their MusicRow Magazine Awards at the Nashville office of ASCAP.  The award show has a prominent history of being a bellwether in helping to escalate rising talent to stratospheric success. Recognition for this highly sought after award is determined by the subscribers of MusicRow.

This year the award show celebrated their 25th anniversary. This is an amazing task. The music industry itself has become a constant evolution of  new products, artists, ideas, and organizations. All vying  to replace existing the existing status  of what is active in the music market place. MusicRow has become one of the few elite organizations to not only rise above the constant churn in  the industry, but to thrive and create a highly influential readership base that music industry target based advertisers crave.

The 25th anniversary award show was not televised. There was no red carpet. Above all, with the exception of  The Focus, there was no media invited.  The reason is because  this event is about recognition from the industry.  Recognition in the industry, and recognition by the industry. The awards given out have very significant meaning. It is not an award based on popularity or potentially awarded based on the influence that an award winner might have on television ratings.  It is not an award based on online votes that can be manipulated. It is a prestigious award determined by the core of the hard working dedicated individuals in  the industry.

The event was invite only.  We at the Focus felt extremely honored to be allowed to attend the event.  For me, personally, it was an amazing honor for me to be granted access to cover such a cherished milestone. That being the 25th anniversary.

About the event.  The major winner of the night was Kacey Musgraves . She was bestowed with both the “Breakthrough Songwriter—(co-writer of “Merry Go ‘Round,” “Mama’s Broken Heart”) and “Breakthrough Artist of the Year.”

MusicRow’s Sherod Robertson and Kacey Musgraves Photo by Dan Andrews

Kacey Musgraves performs for the award show attendees.     Photo by Dan Andrews

Dan Andrews reporting.